If you celebrated the new year, chances are you have the materials to do this project sitting in your recycling bin! It’s a fun DIY lighting project that can remind you of the great time you had celebrating (or the pain the next morning), every time you flip the switch 😉
Give your kitchen a new look by installing a DIY wine bottle chandelier! It’s a great recycling project for all those wine bottles emptied during the holiday celebrations. You can also put this above your dining table or kitchen island.
Don’t have enough empty wine bottles in your recycle bin? You can ask your friends and family. Of course, you aren’t restricted to wine bottles… how about a Jack Daniel’s, Martell, or Glen Fiddich version?
Pick your poison and get started on this easy DIY project. The tutorial below shows you in detail how to build this beautiful and secure light fixture and attach it to your ceiling!
Will this be the project to keep you busy this weekend? 🙂
Click on any image to start the lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox.
You’ll need these materials:
- Wine Bottles
- 8′ of 3/4″ by 3″ Pine Trim Board
- 2’x4′ 3/4″ Plywood
- Wood Glue
- Wood Stain
- 1/2″ Plumbing Pipes (1/2″ O.D. is key since it has to fit through the neck of the bottle)
- 1/2″ to 3/4″ Plumbing Coupling Converter (1 per number of bottles)
- 3/8″ Flange/Escutcheon (1 per number of bottles)
- #0 Conduit Hangers, or the smallest size you can find (1 per number of bottles)
- 4 Screw Eyes (capable of holding 50 lbs min)
- 2 Screw eyes (with a 1″ minimum opening)
- 2 Plastic Electrical Junction Boxes
- Mini Candelabra Light Sockets with wiring (however many bottles you are hanging)
- About 2′ of the chain (25 lb load)
- 4 Quick links (25 lb load)
- Electrical Tape
- 2 5/8″ Toggle Bolts (basically the biggest I could find)
- 2 5/8″ x 1 1/4″ Fender Washers
And these tools:
- Table Saw
- Chop Saw
- Wood Clamps
- Foam Paint Brushes
- Screw Driver
Cut a groove in the trim board to allow the plywood to be recessed inside. I cut a 3/8″ deep by 3/4″ wide groove using a table saw. It could be done with a skill saw if done carefully to keep the groove straight and consistent. I cut the 8′ piece of trim in half, just for ease of working with the pieces.
Cut a trim board to form the outside edge of the box. Using a chop saw, I cut the trim boards using miter joints (45-degree angles), making sure to plan for the groove being on the inside of the box. My box’s outside dimensions were 12″ x 25.5″.
Cut the plywood to fit inside the box, in the groove. To have it set into the trim boards and retain my outside dimensions, I cut to 11.25″ x 24.75″ (3/8″ deep groove on all four sides, so 3/4″ off outside box dimensions).
Dab some wood glue inside the groove on all 4 sides, and place the plywood inside. Clamp all 4 sides of the trim pieces and leave them overnight.
Layout holes for tubing/bottles. See above for my layout.
Drill 1/2″ holes for each tube/bottle. 1/2″ worked perfect for the tubing/piping in the next steps (encloses the electrical cables and supports the bottle) that I used, but if you use different tubing, just make sure it fits through the hole, but not by too much since the bottle will hang on the lip of the plywood at each hole.
Sand away! Sand to remove all pencil marks and excess glue. Use higher grit to finish nicely
Clean using rags and pouring on some acetone. This will clean up any dirt/sawdust on the box and will dry almost instantly.
Stain the box whatever color you would like. No need to do the inside, since it won’t be seen.
Attach bottles to box: This is the part that took the most planning and testing, but here is what I found to work really well.
I am not going to explain how to cut/sand down the wine bottles since there are tons of examples on Youtube and others. I use a jig, and it works fairly well. I also cut all bottles to the same height, but you could definitely add another level of depth and do different lengths.
Cut the Plumbing pipe in segments, I did (3) at 15″ and (4) at 17″ for the front vs. back rows.
Using gorilla glue to secure them, plug the coupling into the end of the pipe. Make sure the conduit stays clear and you will have to pull wire through later on.
Spray paint black to eliminate any of the writing that is visible on the pipe.
Insert the pipe piece through the next of the bottle, then place the flange/escutcheon on (make sure it is in the correct direction), then insert the pipe into the hole already drilled in the box. Mine was a tight fit, which was good since you don’t want it to slide back though by accident.
Pull the pipe through so that about 1 1/2″ is visible on the inside of the box.
Attach the conduit hanger to the pipe so it rests directly on the box. This will keep the pipe from sliding through as well. Since the conduit hangers are generally built for wider pipes, you may have to wrap the pipe with tape before this step. Try to tighten as much as possible
Give the pipe/bottle a pull and shake when all tightened up to make sure it doesn’t slide through. You don’t want a glass bottle to come crashing down!
Clampdown the flange/escutcheon so it is flush with the bottom of the box. I used a little hot glue as well to make sure they stayed in place. These are purely cosmetic.
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Drill (2) 1″ holes on the center of the two sides of the box. These will end up holding up the box in its final location
Pre-drill and install (2) screw eyes (one on each side) about 2″ off-center. These will be used to hold up the box to wire.
I installed 2 electrical junction boxes inside so all wires could be pulled to this location in the next step.
Hanging and electrical wiring: To wire the fixture in place, I wanted to first hang the fixture so one did not have to hold in place (since it is fairly heavy). This would also make it easier to replace a bottle if needed etc.
Pre-drill and screw 2 hooks into the ceiling directly inside the footprint of the box’s final location. Doesn’t necessarily matter where, but I recommend about 2″ off-center of each side. I was fortunate to have the whole ceiling covered with in-wall blocking, but you will want to check and ensure you hit something solid when you install these hooks as they will be holding the fixture’s weight
Using the quick links and chain, attach the hooks in the box, to the hooks in the ceiling.
Let go and test that the chain/fixture strength to make sure it holds.
Once it is secure, turn off the power to the circuit and check out the wiring. My fixture was power fed from the ceiling, with wires going to the light switch from there. This is not a normal situation (and one I had to discover through trial and error).
Thread the light sockets through the bottle/conduit so all the wires extend into the box. Pull all the wires into the junction box closest to the wires in the ceiling. Using electrical tape, tape together all of the white wires, and all of the black wires and make sure the wires are all connected.
If some of the bulbs hang down further than desired when pulled to the junction box, pull to the desired height, then overlap the wires and wrap electrical tape around the top to hold it in place.
In my scenario, the black wire was the power, that fed to the switch, and the red wire came from the switch. So for the light switch to operate, all the black wires from the light bulbs had to be attached to the red wire, not the black. I capped the black wires from the ceiling and attached the white bundle, to the white in the ceiling, and as mentioned before, the black bundle to red using wire nuts. Once the nuts were on securely, wrap electrical tape around them to ensure there are no exposed threads. If your fixture is not powered from the ceiling, you should just be able to attach black to black and white to white.
For the ground, I wrapped it around a screw I placed inside the box, making sure it could not touch any other metal.
Turn the circuit and switch on to make sure the fixture works properly.
Installing in a final location: This was another tricky part, that took some serious thought on how I wanted to attach it directly to the ceiling. Many factors came into play.
- Due to the tight nature of my cabinets to the fixture, a dowel that went through the whole length of the fixture was not possible since I would not have been able to get it in/out without jamming into the cabinets
- I live right near a train station, and the house shakes on occasion, so I didn’t want to just use a pin since it could ‘wiggle’ out
In discussing the dilemma with a friend, and gentlemen at HomeDepot, I came up with the following idea that uses drywall toggle bolts. These can be threaded through the holes in the box, then through hooks on the ceiling, and tightened. The bolt then could not ‘wiggle’ out, but by unscrewing it, can come off to access the inside of the box.
Pre-drill and install the (2) screw eyes on the ceiling in the center of the final location of the sides of the box (should match up perfectly with the existing holes in the side of the box from the previous step).
Measure the distance from the ceiling to the bottom of the eye-opening and from the top of the box, to the bottom of the drilled hole. These dimensions should match up. (I had to add some trim to the top of the box for them to line up).
Lift the box into location, and thread the toggle bolt (adding a washer so the head of the bolt wouldn’t go through the hole as well) through the side of the box, then through the eye. Do the same to the other side, then tighten them down. To remove, simply unscrew the toggle bolts and the box will drop down to the chains again.
Please be mindful that electricity is very unforgiving. In some countries, it is illegal to make a mains power electrical connection without an appropriate license.
And you’re done! Enjoy!
Thanks to campbesj7 for this great project!